Nelson Mandela smiling cartoon

Benefits of learning a third language

Learning different languages opens many doors. How do we share opinions, experiences, cultural traditions, and knowledge with others? Is it not by talking and writing? You probably already have your native tongue and English under your belt. But are wondering if it is wise to pursue a third. What are the benefits of learning a third language?

The book “Nelson Mandela by Himself” records Nelson Mandela’s most inspiring and historically influential quotations. Among the content, there are recordings of conversations between Mandela and Richard Allen Stengel (an American editor, author, and former government official). In a 1992 conversation, Mandela said:

“Because when you speak a language, English, well many people understand you, including Afrikaners, but when you speak Afrikaans, you know you go straight to their hearts.”

Mandela, 1992

“Because when you speak a language, English, well many people understand you, including Afrikaners, but when you speak Afrikaans, you know you go straight to their hearts.”

Mandela had previously written in 1978 from prison that South Africans should learn Afrikaans as part of the fight against Apartheid.

So, it is clear that Mandela was making the point that to attempt to speak to someone in their language is an attempt to connect directly to their heart. Some human connections cannot exist in the same way using another language. We could generalize the quote by saying that when you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head, but when you speak to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

Nelson Mandela in suit smiling cartoon

Learning a third language will broaden your scope. Although English is one of the most spoken languages, for most, it is just a language they understand. Imagine the number of people you can impact by reaching not only their heads. The ability to touch the heart of a person is a superpower.

Do you accept the invitation to venture into a language learning process?

Thanks to new information and communication technologies, it is much easier to connect with people from different parts of the world through the Internet. Physical boundaries do not impede interactions anymore. However, languages still are.

Here is a list of three benefits of learning a third language:


There is so much you can learn about the culture of a place. But most of the time, it is intertwined with the language. Have you ever been unable to experience the best of art, film, literature, and music from other cultures? Discovering the secrets and wonders of different cultures is exciting. However, learning their language is part of the process.


We have so much information at our fingertips nowadays. More and more studies, books, documentaries, and endless academic resources are published. It is a relief that most of them are in English. But there are still many gems that never get translated.

On the other hand, knowing different languages broadens your possibilities of pursuing a higher education program in another country. Are you interested in continuing your academic education? It can be studying for an undergraduate, graduate, or master’s degree in a foreign country. Having a command of several languages will give you a significant advantage during your application process to the program. And will expand your opportunities when it comes to choosing your study destination.

Job Competitiveness

Thanks to globalization, more and more industries are looking to cross international borders. Human resources teams dedicate time to the arduous task of searching for highly competent professionals. And while education is essential, knowing two or more languages is a differential factor for finding a job.

The ability to establish communication networks worldwide is fundamental to positioning a company in the international labor market. So, if you are fluent in different languages, your professional profile will be attractive to companies. You have one of the skills necessary for collaborative networks and marketing at the international level.

Communication is a common factor in the working world. Learning more than two languages will allow you to be part of a global trading system without limits.

Have you made up your mind to learn a new language?

Learning a language can be challenging. It requires time, resources, discipline, and dedication. However, it will be a rewarding achievement. Besides, you are already proficient in two. That makes it easier to learn a third. Are you wondering why? Click here to check this post that explains why it is easier.

Are you wondering which language to learn? You are at ItalianLg. So, we will encourage you to learn Italian! Would you like to check some fun facts about the Italian language? Many have found them fun. Click here to take a look.

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